How To Plan A Foolproof Thanksgiving + Thanksgiving Planning Printables

Thanksgiving can be very overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be with a little planning. Keep on reading to learn how to plan a Foolproof Thanksgiving with FREE Thanksgiving Planning Printables!

Thanksgiving involves a lot of preparation!  Especially if you’re hosting it yourself.  Although there is a lot of prep for Thanksgiving, it doesn’t have to be difficult.

The FREE Menu Plan, Grocery List, Guest List and Day Of Checklist Printables included in this post will help you plan a Foolproof Thanksgiving.  Having a plan at Thanksgiving helps make everything easy, giving you more time to spend with your family and less time in the kitchen.

Planning Tips

Planning starts a few weeks before Thanksgiving. To get planning, you need to first figure out who’s coming for dinner.  Send out some invitations and fill out a Guest List.  Figure out within the next couple of weeks who’s bringing what and how many people are coming for sure.

Once you know who’s coming and what dish they are bringing, if they are bringing anything, finalize your menu using the attached Menu Planner.  Once you’ve figured out your menu, start writing your Grocery List.  I like to print out all recipes to make sure I have everything on my grocery list.  Try to do this on a Wednesday when the weekly flyers come out to make sure that you get the best deals on your groceries.  Use a highlighter to mark off items on sale at your local stores, and get the rest of your ingredients at Walmart.  They really have the best deals on grocery/pantry items.  Before you go shopping, shop your pantry at home for groceries.

After grocery shopping, it’s time to start prepping your vegetables, and making whatever you can ahead of time.  I wouldn’t make desserts until the night before if possible.  Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes can be made a day or two in advance and then reheated – reheat them in the slow cooker with ½ stick butter to save stove and oven space.  You can also pre-cook veggies for dinner ahead of time. Blanching veggies helps make for quicker cooking time.  Your side dishes can be prepared before you even slice the bird with a little planning ahead.

With planning and preparing ahead, on Thanksgiving morning all you will have to do is cook the bird, assemble casseroles and reheat some meals.  If you have a toaster oven, use it to make your appetizers, or save a little room in the oven if possible to cook up your appetizers.  If you don’t have the room, cook and serve warm appetizers before putting the turkey into the oven.

Next up is to clean the house and get all of your serving items out.  Take out and label all of the dishes that you want to use to cook and serve dinner.

Use the Day Of Checklist, and write down everything that you need to do the cooking temperatures and times for the side dishes that you are cooking.  Once you pull the turkey out of the oven, bake the side dishes while the turkey rests.

If you hate planning, I have also created a Detailed Thanksgiving Planner which includes everything you need for a Foolproof Thanksgiving. This planner includes:

√Thanksgiving 101 – Includes everything you need to know from turkey to sides to pie so you can plan, prepare, and cook a Foolproof Thanksgiving Dinner.
√30+ Recipes – Appetizers, Drinks, Sides, Turkey, Desserts and Leftovers
√Thanksgiving Menu and Grocery List
√Thanksgiving Game Plan – A Step-By-Step Guide to prepare and cook Thanksgiving dinner. Follow this guide and you’ll spend less time in the kitchen and more time with friends and family on Thanksgiving. The Game Plan starts a week out and helps you prepare everything from appetizers to dessert ahead of time for a foolproof dinner.
√Guest List
√Equipment & Supplies List – Everything you need to prepare and cook Thanksgiving dinner.
√Blank Planners – Plan your own Thanksgiving dinner with these printable planners. Included; Menu, Grocery List and Guest List in Two Different Designs
√Thanksgiving Day Of To Do List
√Thanksgiving FAQ & More!

Whether this is your first or 15th Thanksgiving, you’ll have everything you need right at your fingertips.  Get it for only $9.99 in my Etsy Store.  Use promo code THANKSFREE and get a copy my NEW Kitchen Conversion Chart for FREE!  

Thanksgiving Recipes

Here’s a few Thanksgiving Recipes to get started!

Brined Turkey Breast

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Pecan Pie

Cornbread Stuffing

Turkey Veggie Tray

Butter & Brown Sugar Carrots

brussels sprouts with bacon thanksgiving recipe momsbistro #foolproofthanksgiving side dish easy

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Green Bean Casserole (old version) >> Green Bean Casserole (updated)

Cranberry Sauce (old version) >> Cranberry Sauce (updated)

Sweet Potato Pie (old version) >> Sweet Potato Pie (updated)


Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my favorite Thanksgiving recipes, updating old ones, and sharing some Thanksgiving Tips, and leftover ideas, helping you have a Foolproof Thanksgiving!  Coming up this month:


How To Spatchcock A Turkey

How To Thaw A Frozen Turkey

Last Minute Thanksgiving Tips

How To Make Great Gravy


Cajun Buttermilk Marinated Turkey

Quick Turkey Stock

Instant Pot Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie

Korean BBQ Meatballs

Mexican Street Corn Casserole

Green Bean Casserole [Update]

Cranberry Sauce [Update]

Sweet Potato Pie [Update]

Sourdough Stuffing

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Homemade Pretzel Rolls


Thanksgiving Egg Rolls

Turkey Sandwich

With just a little planning, you can make this Thanksgiving the best yet.  Click the link below to get your Free Thanksgiving Planning Printables!

Thanksgiving 2019 Planning Printables

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Next Up:

Mexican Street Corn Casserole

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